Monthly Archives: January 2013

Staying A Live Writer


cool tools 008

If you know music from the 70’s,  I just stuck a song in your head.  You’ll be hearing three grown men sing like women in your head all. day. long. You are SO welcome!

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin alive, stayin alive.
Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin alive.

I was at a point where my blogging needed resuscitation.  Coming up with content is fairly easy, but I was SO frustrated with functionality. Some nights I would huff and puff and try not to blow the house down.  Baring teeth smile

When I used BLOGGRRRRRR, it would change without warning. One day I could upload a picture, the next day I couldn’t. Moving pictures around took the finger dexterity of a trapeze artist.  My post would might look perfect in the preview pane, but when published,  three paragraphs would be  in a different font.  WordPress was much better, but I still had issues.

When I shared my frustration with another blogger, but he’s the computer Geek kind, Jason asked, “Why don’t you use Windows Live Writer?”

Of course I had to ask, “What’s Live Writer?” because I know very little about the computer world.

“It’s a free program from Microsoft for writing blogs.  It’s really easy to use.”  He pulled out his notebook computer and demonstrated some functionality. You know how I love me some Cool Tools. It was Red heart at first sight. It saved my blogging life.


Why I Love Live Writer


1.  FREE ~ Coming from a long line of women so frugal we can pinch a pennyMoney  until a booger comes out of Lincoln’s nose, he sold me at “free.” I don’t make money blogging.  Nada, zilch.  I don’t make any money writing.  Nada, zilch.  Come to think of it, unless you count grocery money, I don’t generate any income, and I haven’t since I was a bank file clerk in 1986. Free is good.


(click on the icon to enter Microsoft’s Download Center)

2.  Lotsa’ Real Estate ~ you homestead a lot more territory, because it’s like creating in Word. 


This is my blogging environment in  WordPress.  See the cute little visual I made with Snipping Tool? Oh, you missed that post?

(click on icon for Snipping Tool Tutorial)


Here is this blog post  in the WordPress environment?  I can fidget with the little expander in the bottom right corner and scroll down to add room for only one more paragraph.

By the time I got to the middle of my post, I might not remember what I wrote above.  I’d scroll up and forget what I was looking for.  I’d scroll down.  I’d find my place and remember what I needed.  I’d scroll back up.  Up and down, up and down, check in preview, up and down, up and down, check in preview. 

With Live Writer, you use the entire screen for typing.  There’s still some scrolling with a longer post, but you don’t have to choose access to your toolbar over space for writing.

3. Low Learning Curve~ It’s like moving home or having your cheese moved right in front of your face. I lack in change management skills, but the functionality and layout makes it easy to move in and start writing. 


Recognize this tool bar? It doesn’t have all the functionality of Word, but it has exactly what you need. Choose fonts, sizes, bold, italics, underscore, highlighter, text color and Ichanged my mind about what word I wanna’ use.

4. Hosts All Your Blogs ~ You don’t have to open a new tab to begin writing a post for your other blog.  You know, that one you started with great ambition because you thought the content wasn’t suitable for your main blog, so you started another one.  Yea, like my homeschooling blog.  I added both accounts, and when I want to wax eloquent, I choose where to post content. No clicking around.  All blogs live in the same environment.

It is also compatible with other platforms, like Blogger and Typepad.


5. Schedules Post Day and Time ~ To be a reliable blogger, it’s good to release on schedule.  For over a year, I released M-F at 5am.  Because I’m on Pacific Time, I wanted my post to be live when my friends in the east woke up.Clock I’ve lost the ability to do that, but Live Writer hasn’t.


I’ve seen bloggers who think they need to “catch up” so post five posts in a day after not posting for awhile.  Spread the joy.  Schedule the posts one at a time,  then work on consistency in producing content.

5.  Saves drafts~ Easy to retrieve.


By scrolling down to the Open Local Draft, you display that last ten drafts.  See what good stuff I’ll be writing about soon? I know, I got ya’ really psyched about the Port-A-Potties, didn’t I?Rolling on the floor laughing



When you click on the Open Local Draft, all your drafts are in chronological order.  Oops.  Found stuff I forgot to finish.

6.  Available offline ~ever have a thought of brilliance but no Internet available?  How about when you lose internet connection? Computer Like right now, I’m typing away, trying to finish this tutorial and just out of nowhere for no good reason, my Internet decides to go on sabbatical.  Good thing I’m writing in Live Writer!

7. Saves automatically~ for those moments when you aren’t able to save (like now, see #6) or when you just forget.  Or when a kid comes in and decides to play a game on your computer, but doesn’t like all your open programs.


And when you choose to save, you have choices.

8. Emoticons~ speaking of choices, look what you can do when you’re feeling cutesy.  Your texting kids will be jealous.  Sorry, don’t know textingMobile phone language so had to spell it all out.


9. Word Find ~ but not the kind that just comes in a cheap paperback. Do you just use the word that or just all the time?  How about just forgetting to use a capital letter in a word, a word just like WordPress? Now, that would just be horrible, wouldn’t it?



Type in the word, WLW will find it, and you can fix it.

Red heartWe bonded as soon as it was downloaded on my computer. After a few weeks of using WLW, my husband said, “Blogging must be going much better these days.  I don’t hear you smacking your desk anymore.”  True confession.  At times, I might slap my desk, or wriggle in my chair.  My husband says I make a lot of mouth noises Smile with tongue outCrying faceSurprised smile when I write, with or without frustration.  That’s why I work at home, people.  I would not be a good sit-still-in-your-cubicle kinda’ employee. So, WLW not only saved my life, it mighta’ saved my marriage. 

I  fear once my last child moves out, I’ll no longer be able to use an alarm clock or cell phone. I don’t recognize the world of my childhood anywhere I look.  That Science ditty “adapt, adopt or die” often flits through my head as I try to adjust to the  technology stuff that’s invented and updated before I can finish a Coffee cup of coffee.

You can adapt to this new world, by adopting Windows Live Writer to stay alive in your blogging. 

Wait, did I just write a blog post on

How To Be A Better Blogger?


Oh, yeah, and good luck trying to get that  Note out of your head…

Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin alive…



Click on the above picture for the second post in the series
”Picture Your Blog with Windows Live Writer.”

Your Hairbrush Is Preaching a Sermon

I  lose a lot of hair daily.

Long, blonde strands are picked from the sink, the drain,  the throw rugs, and my clothes, especially sweaters and my wool jacket. I quit wearing fleece because I ended up looking like a walking hairball.

Hair wraps around the vacuum cleaner roller and has to frequently be cut off. The vacuum cleaner is filled with  hair.  It used to gross out my MIL so much, she liked it when I  combed my hair outside.

I always related it to my thyroid issues, but my Cosmetologist daughter reassured me it’s normal to lose hair.  She quoted a cool statistic, which I promptly forgot in my panic over losing so much hair.  I looked it up on the internet.  The average person loses about 100 hairs a day.

It sounded like a lot, but I couldn’t accurately picture the size of a100 strand hairball.

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I pulled out my hairbrush, the didn’t have the ambition to actually count them.

Besides, someone else is already doing that for me.  No, not one of my kids, Someone else is in charge of hair counting.

Luke 12:7
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

You might be wondering, “Doesn’t have the Lord have anything better to do than count stray hairs?  Like conquering evil and healing and saving souls?”

He counts hairs for a people who have a hard time counting on His Word.

The people in Luke 12 were worried about persecution, protection, possessions and provision, the same problems people have today. The Lord was impressing upon them He knows and He cares about every detail of their lives, and He has the capacity to handle them all.

If He knows some unimportant details, don’t you think He knows the important details?

If He notices that stray hair hanging on your left shoulder, don’t you think He notices the weight of cares pressing down, as well?

If He can keep track of about 100,000 strands of hair on the heads of 7 billlion people, can He not manage the affairs of their hearts and souls, as well?

Instead of a cause for worry, losing hair can be a cause for praise. Each loose strand reminds us that our heavenly Father is counting them to remind us we can count on Him.

As quickly as we cast off stray hairs, we should cast off stray worries.

I Peter 5:7
Cast all your cares upon Him,
for He cares for you.

Your hairbrush is preaching a sermon.  Are ya’ hearing it?





Making your home sing Mondays

Ya’ Know How A Plumber’s Toilet Never Flushes?

My husband isn’t the programming kinda’ computer geek, but works in the industry.

People that know my husband associate him with computers.

People that know me, know I can’t live without a computer. We make a good couple.

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So aren’t you surprised to find a computer like this in our home? I’m not talking about the dirty screen, look down.  At the keyboard.  See?

It was one of those Slick Willy Salesmen kinda’ deals.The hubbster bought me a brand new computer for school several years ago.

The enthusiastic salesman bragged about their warranty. ”Yeah, anything happens to this, and we’ll give you another one. You can drop it or the kids can spill milk on it, and we’ll give you another one.”  He was just revving up his motor mouth.  “Yea, you could walk out into that parking lot right now, drop it in a mud puddle, drive over it with your minivan, and we’ll give you another one.”

SOLD! To the mother of six who weekly has precious items altered, broken or “borrowed.” Like a sage, he predicted the future of my spankin’ new computer, and promised protection. That warranty was my armor.  Nothing could touch me now.

I began filling up my Jiggabites, or whatever they’re called, with my grade program, my assignment sheets, and all my homeschool business. The hubbster imported all the data crucuial to running my world from the desktop. I was golden.

After a few weeks, the #5 popped off.

Just like that. Decided it didn’t like his new home and ran away with a spoon,
or single sox.  Not sure.

I’m a sport.  I can live without #5.  If the pioneers could live in dirt houses, I could live without 5.

Then the D took a dive.

Now, I do type nearly 100mph, I mean wpm, thanks to Mr. Short my Typing I teacher, but even my smokin’ speed on the keyboard shouldn’t have burned off those little keys.

When the space bar started freaking out on me I was done with my martyrdom. I drove my mini-van back to the computer store.

I found the nearest salesman and waved my keyboard in front of his face. ”I want my new computer. Look, not even a month old and the keys are popping off. My kids didn’t even have anything to do with this. Nobody dropped it or used it for a skateboard ramp.Those keys just fell off.”

“OK. We can send that in for you today to get fixed.”

“Send it in?  No.  I want my new computer today.”

“It doesn’t work that way,” he explained. “These are minor problems.  They don’t justify a whole new computer.”

“But the guy who sold this to me said if anything happens I get a whole new computer,”  I explained.

I could tell he was getting a little uncomfortable. “Well, he…ummm…ummmm… he didn’t mean it that way.  You must have misunderstood.”

“No,” I forced myself to smile at the kid who didn’t know how to correctly tie a tie,  “he promised me a new computer no matter what.  He said I could even drive over it in the parking lot and you would give me a new computer.”

I recognized the conscience squirm. He recognized his mother in me.

“I’m sorry, but he was wrong, we have to send your computer away,” he explained.

”Can’t you fix it in the store?” I asked.

“No. We don’t have technicians in the store, we send all our repairs out.”

“How long will this take?” I asked while mentally calculating how this would set back my school calendar.

“Oh, about a month.”

“A MONTH?  You want my computer for a whole month? I can’t live without it for a month!  I homeschool and all my assignments and grades are in here. Can’t you find someone to fix it locally?”


Desperate times make for desperate mothers. “Can I take it out in the parking lot and drive over it with my mini-van, bring it back to you and get a new one?”

“No,” he said.  “That kinda’ wouldn’t be right.”

“But, the guy said!”  I was doing the conscience squirm and he was staring at me like he was my mother. “It was his idea in the first place.”

He just stood there, eyes shifting around the store, looking for reinforcement.

“So you won’t give me a new computer even though my salesman promised one for anything that went wrong,” I repeated. 


“And if you send it away it will take a month?”


I walked out.

The hubbster, being the nice guy that he is, bought me a different computer from a different store.  We had wanted one for the kids,  so we figured they could live without the 5 and the D and with a jiggly space bar. 

Then, we kinda’ forgot about it.

computer 013

The thing is built like a tank, weighs enough to use for a weapon, and gave us absolutely no other problems.  The guts are great, so we keep using it for games, email and watching YouTube videos.

The other day  Boy Wonder, our 16 year old college freshman said, “Dad, did you know you could just order a new keyboard?”

“Oh?”  I could see the wheels churning.  Hubby was trying to remember why we needed a keyboard.

“For our kids’ computer,” Boy Wonder explained.  “I can just order a new keyboard.”

Hubbster and I exchanged “OH, DUH” looks and told him to order away. Why did it take so long to figure this out?

The computer-Geek hubbster and I are in  good company, with our policy of using broken things.

Psalm 51:17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.

The Lord accepts brokenness as a sacrifice we lay on His altar, and allow Him to alter. Then He uses brokenness to display His glory through healing.

“Somehow You use broken things”

When tender hearts hold broken dreams,
Somehow You use broken things,
To teach those tender hearts to sing,
Of everlasting love.
When all around is cold & gray,
The ice soon melts, the gray soon fades,
Your Spirit takes them all away,
In everlasting love.
I can’t repay your love,
That’s understood.
I’ll try each day, my Lord,
To do all I know I should.
When days are filled with trials and tests,
You turn those troubled times to rest,
Through it all my life is blessed,
With everlasting love.

What do you have that is broken? 

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

I know how to get it fixed.

How To Live Snippily-Ever-After

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Last week I introduced you to Microsoft’s Snipping Tool, your own personal online scissors. It’s better than real scissors, because your kids can’t steal use them. Especially kids who are notorious for giving themselves bad haircuts.

I started giving tutorials ‘cuz I’m totally a techie.  Not.  I’m just loving me some free Cool Tools.

Without revealing my age, I can tell ya’ I’m from a generation that grew up without computers at home or in our schools.  But, we live in a technical world now, and if we  master techie stuff, our lives will be better, easier and more efficient.

Trust me.


Click on the above image to read the first blog in the series to learn about a Free-form Snip and a Rectangular Snip.  It’s the blog post in which I am a star.  Seriously.  Go check it out.


Back so soon?  You’re a fast reader.  Good.  Now you’re going to learn to snip a window.

Sometimes our blogs just need a little spicing up with SNIPPETS for cool illustrations.



Using Microsoft Notepad, I wrote a note. When I clicked the Window Snip option, it automatically captured the entire thing, I didn’t have to worry about lining up borders, like with the Rectangular Snip.

I use Control C to copy and Control V to paste into my blogging environment.  You can also save them.


You can snip an email.

OH, you noticed I crossed off personal information?  I used another fun feature on Snipping Tool.  Once you snip something, they give ways to embellish your snip. It has a pen  your kids can’t steal borrow. It also comes with a highlighter and an eraser.  Who doesn’t love school supplies?  Again, tools that can’t disappear out of your office and end up under the couch cushion or in the dryer.

Speaking of dryer, do you know what happens when a pen explodes in your dryer?

Yea, it ruins the entire load of clothes and splatters ink everywhere.  But, if you throw out the clothes and let the ink in the dryer totally dry, you can use the dryer for five more years until the motor burns out.  True story. 

Now you KNOW why I love me the pen on this Snipping Tool. 


You can snip an Instant Message. I usually don’t have to ask for love notes, because my hubbster is very good about that, but today he was a little pre-occupied…


Cool, huh?  I snipped the little Sticky Note on my computer.  You don’t use Sticky Notes, either? What? Keep checking back with my blog.   We gotta’ talk about these Cool Tools.


Using the final option is kinda’ fun, the Full-screen Snip.  See, there’s me blogging in Live Writer.  OOOHHHH, I know you don’t know about that and Girlfriend, when I teach ya’ that you’ll STOP pounding your computer desk in frustration and I will be your BFF forever and ever amen. 

I promise. 

Trust me.


You can email your snip.  But, you can’t snip a snip you’re snipping, so I had to CTRL+PrtScn to copy, then CTRL V to paste into paint, then close the snip and resnip the image pasted into Paint.  Got that?  That’s OK.  The point is, you can SEND a SNIPPET you SNIPPED.

The pen has three colors, didja’ notice?


But if you choose Custom Pen there are 16 color choices, Round Tip or Chisel Tip options,  and Fine, Medium and Thick lines.


I snipped a pictured and scribbled on it. Yea, she made that pie.  No, she didn’t learn from me.  I was blogging and snipping. My Cool Tools aren’t in the kitchen, they’re on my computer.


Remember that IM I was waiting for? SNIPPED.


This is what I know you will all try.  Who doesn’t want to put a mustache or horns on her MIL her best friend?


And I received a nice SNIPPED email in return. Ain’t he sweet?


And we all lived Snippily-Ever-After.

The End.

My Courage Failed


A year ago, my courage failed me.

I watched an Innocent Man taken away in handcuffs.

I knew the  verdict before it was read.

I knew when twelve jurors filed in and refused to meet my eye.

I knew when all the police officers in the building filed in and formed a shoulder to shoulder line behind the Innocent Man, obstructing view from family and friends.

I knew by the grief that settled around my shoulders, a mantle I would wear by faith for eight years.

You are not allowed to cry or make noise in a courtroom.  It’s protocol that looks good in movies, but is hard to abide by when the court system has failed you.

I put on my coat and gloves, gathered my purse and walked into the frigid winter air, upheld on each side by a dear Christian couple that offered support.  But, it wasn’t the strength of their support I felt, it was the presence of the Lord.

It was a walk I’ll never forget.

As I forced myself to take step after step, the Lord spoke to my broken heart, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”

I knew He had allowed it,  a plan that was not my plan and a way that was not my way.

pie and walk 044

I looked the verse up and I have left this verse on my online Bibles the entire year as a reminder. 

I stayed a few more days in the state, dealing with the Innocent Man’s belongings and business affairs in a home where he was taken in and loved by Christian strangers who became family. Before this happened, he had been gainfully employed.  He had been a few months away from getting a degree.  He had renewed his faith in Christ as His Savior and was eagerly living a new life in Christ. One lie took everything from him but his faith.

His life went into boxes, then into  a garage. I knew that the majority of the items would be useless to him upon his release, but I didn’t want him to come home to nothing. 

It wasn’t until I was at the airport to fly home that my courage failed.

I  walked through the busy crowd that was oblivious to my intense pain. Others were flying home to loved ones, to exotic vacations, or on business trips.  I tried to notice if anyone else wearing the same mantle of grief.

The first time my courage failed was in the security lines.  Of course, I was chosen to be searched.  I was not so kindly pointed to a table when my suitcase was immediately seized and opened in public, my piles of dirty laundry shoved around by blue-gloved hands.  There was no eye contact, and I was suspect.

I hated that feeling.

I knew I was innocent.

Then, Homeland Security Man looked up, almost smiled and said, “Oh.”

courage 017

He showed me the offending item and allowed me to repack my suitcase. I was thankful he let me keep my Courage, a memento I had taken from the Innocent Man’s desk.

The second time my courage failed at the airport was just prior to boarding. 

I didn’t want to fly 2,000 miles away. It seemed to cruel to leave him in prison while I went back to my wonderful life with my husband, children, my home, my church family.

I called the Innocent Man’s brother and sobbed on the phone.  I tried to cry quietly, but the waves of grief overflowed; I wanted to lay on the airport floor and weep.  I clenched my teeth and bit my tongue.  I wiped my eyes and tried to hold my sobs within my person. My body ached with the effort.

I wept because I felt I ‘d failed.  I hired good lawyers.  I’d researched, studied and interviewed and was extremely involved in the case. I spent hours at my computer, hours on the phone and hours in prayer. We had covered all of our physical and spiritual bases.

But I was flying home alone and an Innocent Man was in prison.

The first few months in county jail were painful.  I learned  several prisoners had died in this jail because they were refused medical treatment and full medication.  The IM is a diabetic who needs four shots of insulin a day.  The jail policy is to give two. Intervention and prescriptions from his primary care physician were refused. His blood sugar levels were daily in the 200’s and 300’s and he was worried he would die in jail. (I didn’t tell him about the jail’s history.)

But, during a phone conversation the IM said to me, "I’m so at peace. I am so in love with the Lord."

Another time he said, “If this room was dark, I would be glowing. I have something the other men don’t have. They might profess salvation, but they aren’t happy in here.”

The same Presence that walked me out of the courtroom, was walking beside him.

He was transferred to a state prison and relief came in the form of medical attention.  They allow four shots of insulin and other health screenings.  Friends and family members learned skills we never thought we’d need to know.  Prisons don’t provide warm clothing,  shoes, pen, paper, lamps, shampoo, etc., so we had to learn how to provide his needs.

Each step of the way we’ve all had to summon fresh courage to face the obstacles and go on. We’ve had to remind ourselves often that God is sovereign, and we choose to believe nothing is out of His control or His care.

The Innocent Man continues to grow in his faith, trusting the Lord and renewing his strength to face each day.

Our quest to prove his innocence is stronger than ever and we were given a strange source of comfort last month.  The IM was transferred to a new wing and his new roommate was a lifer for murder. The IM is a kind man and a true friend to many prisoners.  Within 24 hours this man looked at him and explained that he’d been in for a long time, knew the system and he knew men. He stared the IM in the eye and said, “But I can tell ya’ now, you’re innocent!”

At the one year anniversary I’m feeling various emotions, mostly thankfulness to the Lord for walking us through the first year.  I’m grateful to the Lord’s people who visit the Innocent Man, uphold him in prayers and letters and provide for his physical needs. I am still grieved that wickedness prevailed, but remind myself to trust the Lord.

As we begin year #2, I’m summoning fresh courage from the Lord.

Psalm 27:14
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!


Psalm 31:24
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.


 The definition of courage is “to be strong, grow strong, prevail, be secure, press, so strengthen.”  It’s more than possessing strength, it’s also the process of gaining strength. 

“Be of good courage” isn’t a gentle reminder or a pat answer from the Lord, it’s a command.  The imperative form proves it’s not an option. We must go on, and we must go on with courage.

Those outside the bars promised the Innocent Man we we’d remain strong, so he had spiritually, mentally and physically well people to come home to.  He promised to remain faithful inside the bars so we wouldn’t despair. His courage has become our courage.

courage 017

Deuteronomy 31:6

“Be strong and of good courage,
do not fear nor be afraid of them;
for the Lord your God,
He is the One who goes with you.
He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

With inspiring courage from the Innocent Man and strengthening courage from the Lord my God, I will keep walking the path the Lord has allowed.

I don’t want my courage to fail again.

New Winner of Love Finds You!


I couldn’t sleep at all last night.

Doot do do do



Just thinking about this book

Doot do do do

Baby things weren’t right

But, we have a winner tonight!

LFY 061

I kept my little squares just in case….

LFY 066

Again, my lovely assistant, Rebekah, drew the name for me.
She stirred and stirred and stirred and chose….

(I made her do this for me because I love you all very,
very much and I wanted you all to win. 
The pain of exclusion is a great burden to bear
when you are doing a Big Blogging Girl Giveaway.)

Roman Numerals 036

Judith from Whole Hearted Home!


Congratulations….you’ll be hearing from me soon!

Don’t Get SNIPPY with ME!

cool tools 008

Did your mom every say that to you?


My mom said that to me…often….

I just would get a little….well, ya’ know, snippy.

My snotty words would rip into someone, like bullying big brothers or annoying little sisters.

Now that I’m a big girl, I’m still really snippy.

But, it’s a good kinda’ snippy,  not with my tongue, but with Microsoft’s Snipping Tool.

OK, I lied.

True confession, I haven’t mastered the snippy tongue thing, but I’m getting better????

But, I’m loving snipping snippets with the Snipping Tool instead of snipping snottily while in a snit.

Never heard of it? It comes with Windows. If it’s not pinned on your toolbar, drop down the dialogue box from your Start imagebutton and find it.


If it doesn’t pop out and scream “Here I am!” then use the search functionality.

Found it yet? Why not?

I wasn’t kidding.

Go find it if you don’t use it already.   I mean, please go find it, this is a tutorial, after all. Yes, I’m serious.  Sheesh Louise, you sound like my kids.

Got it?

OK, we were waiting for you.  Patiently, of course.


It should look like this. Ain’t she sweet?


She has four options.  It’s like having four pairs of scissors.  Fabric scissors, paper scissors, thread scissors and hair scissors. Only my kids use my fabric scissors to cut wire, paper scissors to cut their hair and they drop the little thread scissors between the couch cushions. And  my cosmetologist daughter would haughtily inform me hair scissors are “shears” not scissors, but this is my blog.  Scissors they be.

Anyhoo, back to Snipping  Tool and her four lovely options for cutting.


First use Free-form Snip. The little Scissors come out and you just cut out what you want from your picture.  I like the little scissors in the Snipping Tool because my kids can’t take them.  They’re attached.  Permanently mine.  Forever. And Ever.  Amen. I don’t even have to hide them. They’re mine.


Good thing the snips don’t have scratch and sniff functionality.  I had very bad coffee breath AND I hadn’t washed my hair. 


It’s like using an Etch-A-Sketch, but I think Practice Makes Perfect, or so I keep hearing on annoying kids Sing-A-Long tapes.


Aww, fer sweet! Not me, the tool.

Look, I’m a star.

Now you try it.  Seriously.  You can even cut me to pieces and paste me on your blog or your letterhead.

Done already? It’s like asking a kid if they washed their hands after they went potty.  Kinda’ doubting ya’ here, but 26 years of  parenting makes a woman slightly skeptical.

But, moving on in complete trust that you snipped something to pieces using the Free-Form Snip,  we’ll move on.

This is easier.  Rectangular Snip.  Remember sitting through Geometry class thinking “Why do I have to know this stuff, I’ll never use it?”  We’re using it now.  What is the definition of a rectangle?  If ya’ don’t know click on the link.  We’ll wait for you like we did last time.

Just just point the little X where ya’ wanna start and expand the rectangle.





Now you try.  Have the hang of it yet?  Feel confident with that little scissors in your hand?  Let’s venture out into the real world.


I snipped this from a website I was perusing for Snipping tips, but will protect the guilty. I rarely use anything from another website, and if I do I ask permission and give a link.

Do you see what I see?

Somebody needs an editor!

Anybody who has lived in Kansas knows it’s “good ol’”…


I snipped this awhile ago, finding it interesting.  If 94.6% of us don’t trust Facebook, why do we continue to give them 94.6% of our personal information?


A blog post without visuals is boring.  Trust me.  I learned the hard way.

I Survived My First Earthquake in 2009. I lived to tell about it and blog about it. Sure, there was some witty banter, some statistics, and I kept it short, but it was boring to look at.

Just eight paragraphs of unbroken text.

What if I’d added a clever visual?  People might remember that I’d survived my first earthquake.  Nobody cares and nobody remembers, because I didn’t make them remember.

If you don’t have a photograph to illustrate a blog post, get creative.  I’ve snipped word definitions and Bible verses I’ve typed out on a Word document.  I’ve snipped parts of my computer screen for tutorials. I also prefer creating my own visuals from my own materials so I don’t have to worry about copyright infringement.


Get Snippy!


Just not with your tongue.




(Read Part Two of this tutorial by clicking on the above icon)

Calling Keren Herrera!

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You were chosen


to win this


but forgot to put your email address here.

Please contact me, friend, 
by Wednesday,
or I’ll have to draw another name

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from my Jadeite bowl.

This book really needs to be read…Smile

For the rest of you who have their names
on those little slips of paper,

turning trash into treasure

We all drive by those houses with piles of junk in the yard. 
There’s always a few 2x4s, 
scrap lumber,
maybe some old windows and doors,
metal scraps or discarded items.

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It might be stacked up against a garage, behind the house,
or under a tarp,
but it’s still an eyesore.

People always have good ideas, earth-saving intent
and probably a vision for creation so they hoard.
Until vision becomes a visual,
it’s just a heap of good intentions.

But what about the guy who actually takes that pile
and makes art?

Instead of turning the other way,
you drive by and stop the car.

You wanna’ see more.
You wanna’ hear the story.

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Or at least that’s what happened to hubby and me while driving through Index, WA.

We saw the owner and I asked if I could take pics.

He actually invited us into the yard and began showing us
all the clever “used-to-be” items he turned into useful items.

I thought this was a delightful playhouse.

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It was, for chickens.
Those old kitchen cupboards are filled with straw for roosting….
or is it nesting? or egging?

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See the chicken wire?
It doesn’t look horrible in town when it’s surrounded by
yard art, blooming plants and river rock.

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A cute little shed that was more like an outdoor office was also
created from scrap and salvage.

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Does this just say,
“C’mon in?”

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The other side of the shed
with various salvaged windows.

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Even old clothes find new purpose.

We all have some garbage piled up. 
I’m not talking about 2×4’s and old windows.
I’m talking about broken hearts,shattered dreams,
crushed hopes and sickly bodies.

Having garbage isn’t the problem.
The problem is what we do with it.

From the beginning, our God in Heaven
has proved He has the ability to make
something out of nothing.

Look what He did as the
Author of Creation;
He created light out of darkness.

But, His work didn’t stop there.

(click on links to read the complete verses)

He became the Author of Salvation
when he turned sinners into saints
by bringing them out of death into life.

He didn’t  stop there.

As the Author of Sanctification,
he continues to care for His people by turning their
ashes to beauty,
their trials into gold.

So what do we do with the garbage pile?

See if the way the Lord does.
He wants to use those things
for His glory and honor.
He wants you to know He always has
a plan and a purpose for you.

Offer up that broken heart,
let Him
draw near to heal and bind the wounds.

Throw away the jagged pieces of shattered dreams
accept the dreams the Lord has for you.

Take the crushed hopes of this world,
and hope in the Lord.

We might be weakened by sickly bodies
but His strength is made perfect in weakness.

The Lord wants to create
an eye-catching, traffic-stopping display,
of what a mighty God can do
when we offer up our trash,
and let Him turn it into a treasure.


Making your home sing Mondays

(Follow the links to read more inspirational blog posts.)

Love Is Gunna Find…..

So, I know you’re all anxiously waiting to find out if you won



Because you’re  Christians,
you know crossing your fingers doesn’t help.
Maybe you were  kinda’ embarrassed to pray about winning.
Maybe you remembered about sparrows and hairs on your head
and you prayed anyway.









You also might be wondering how I was gunna’ run my first
Big Blogger Girl Give-away,
’cuz if ya’ know me,
ya’ know I’m not a computer geek or anything.

But, I like to learn new skills.

Just not right now.

I know there’s all kinda’ gadgets and gidgets and widgets,
for choosing a winner for give-aways,
but I thought I would save my Friday afternoon from frustration.

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Besides, I needed to go green.
People talk about going green, I’m all on that bandwagon.
I buy Jadeite whenever I find it cheap.

I opened a Word document, created a simple chart, filled in the names and printed it.

Easy Peasy.

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I love using my Fiskars paper cutter; I quickly whisked those babies into little squares.
Aren’t ya’ proud of me?

I didn’t bleed on any of the names.

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My beautiful assistant, Rebekah, wearing modest winter apparel,
drew the name.

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Love Found Keren.

However, you didn’t provide an email address in your comment.
I really hope you check back!

Please provide it by Wednesday, Jan. 23rd.  Thank you!

Thank you all who joined me for my first give-away.

I’m a Big Blogger Girl now!